PULWAMA: Expressing dismay over mediocre performance in implementation of (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) MGNREGA in Pulwama, the Minister for Rural Development, Abdul Haq Wednesday took a serious note of fewer ‘man-days’ generated in the district.
According to an official press note, the minister has ordered initiation of action against the non-performing officers in the district.
Speaking at a meeting convened here to review the status of implementation of various schemes in the rural development sector, the minister asked the officers to ensure transparency in the department and keep public informed about the decisions taken at village level.
He said, “Every citizen should be aware of the activities of the department and it is the duty of the field staff to make people a part of the decision making by ensuring their presence in the Gram Sabhas.”
The approved labour budget for the financial year 2017-18 for the district is Rs 15.72 crore and work done liability of previous year (2016-17) is Rs 11.49 crore, the press note read
The department has generated 2.046 lakh ‘man-days’ in the district under MGNREGA for 42998 job card holders that include unskilled and unemployed youth of the district. Officials said Rs 10.84 crore have been spent under the scheme out of the total availability of Rs 12.11 crore.
Abdul Haq said the basic aim of the MGNREGA is “to provide job to unemployed, unskilled youth of the state but simultaneously the same human resource is used to create durable assets in villages” and this year the government has laid stress on building road connectivity in rural areas and doing flood protection works.
Under flood protection works under convergence, the department has spent Rs 3.26 crore during 2016-17. Further the department has spent Rs 130.27 lacs on the construction of steel decked bridges/stadiums under creation of assets during 2016-17, the press note further added.
The department has incurred expenditure to the tune of Rs 44.42 lacs in convergence mode with line departments such as health, education, sheep husbandry, youth sports and ICDS.
Under Swacch Bharat Mission (SBM) Rs 42.10 lacs have been spent out of Rs 44.97 lacs as on 01- 04-2017 during 2017-18.
While reviewing the Panchayat-wise performance of the department in view of the implementation of MGNREGA, SBM, PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana), 13 FC (Flood Control) and other schemes, the minister exhorted the concerned officers to ensure that the benefits of all the developmental projects percolate down to the desired beneficiaries.
The minister said the Rural Development Department (RDD) is being made accountable to the masses for their larger benefit. He said the prime concern of the government is to strengthen democracy at grassroots level through Panchayats and Gram Sabhas which act as mini parliaments in rural areas.
Referring the MGNREGA as an ecological act, the minister gave directions to the officials to take works that are environment friendly. “This is the one department which has potential to change the rural landscape,” he said this while hailing the RDD. He urged the officers to work with great zeal and enthusiasm so that the expectations of people will be met.
Among others, Minister of State for Forests, Environment and Fisheries Zahoor Ahmad Mir, MLA Pulwama Mohammad Khalil Bandh, MLA Tral Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama G M Dar, Secretary Sports Council, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, Director RDD Gazanfar Ali, ADC Pulwama, Additional Mission Director NRLM were also present.
Earlier Abdul haq reviewed the progress made under National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). District officer NRLM Pulwama gave a power point presentation highlighting the aims and objectives of the scheme and various notable achievements recorded in the district.
“The main aim of this scheme is to reduce poverty and ensure appreciable improvement in the income of beneficiaries on a sustainable basis,” the presentation stated.
Officials said that JKNRLM (UMEED) has formed 497 SHGs (Self Help Groups) and more than 40 village organizations in the district. Various members of SHGs were present in the meeting and shared their experiences while being associated with UMEED scheme.
“UMEED has been responsible for our changed life and now we feel we are empowered,” the SHGs said.
The minister congratulated the SHGs for taking up these activities and said that the project is aimed at encouraging rural women to make small savings so that their SHGs will eventually become bankable at reduced rate of interest.
“The government is quite hopeful that the scheme will change socio-economic conditions of women in the state and can be a very good poverty elimination scheme in J&K,” he added.